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When buying/acquiring a "vintage machine" -

When buying/acquiring a "vintage machine" -

Old 09-27-2021, 08:23 AM
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Default When buying/acquiring a "vintage machine" -

I am talking about when one can pick up an older machine for not much money - like at a thrift shop, yard/garage sale, off a curb, out of a trash bin, given/donated to you .

What is your criteria for you to consider bringing it home with you? What is your criteria for *not* bringing it home with you?

For me - it has to run and be in fairly decent condition. I am not into serious fixing-up. And not cost very much money.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
I am talking about when one can pick up an older machine for not much money - like at a thrift shop, yard/garage sale, off a curb, out of a trash bin, given/donated to you .

What is your criteria for you to consider bringing it home with you? What is your criteria for *not* bringing it home with you?

For me - it has to run and be in fairly decent condition. I am not into serious fixing-up. And not cost very much money.
At this point, about the same as yours. If it were unblemished, with all parts, working - that might turn my head. In particular, if it was a machine that needed to be in a cabinet, I would want the cabinet included as well. And it would have to be the steal of a century!
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:17 PM
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Interesting question. For me, I have three criteria - condition, price and querkiness. If it has ANY rust, I just keep walking. There are too many machines that have been well-taken care of and need just a little work to get going. Price is a big one for me. I don't like spending more than $100 for a vintage machine. Mostly because it will cost me another $100 for the tune-up once I buy it. There are exceptions of course, like a Featherweight. If it is querky, I might get it. I bought a toy sewing machine and I would consider getting a second one if it was from Germany and well painted.

I have bought sewing machines I don't need just because of price. I picked up a 301 for about $50 at auction. The description said the needle wouldn't move up and down. Turns out it was because the knob at the end of the flywheel was disingaged for winding a bobbin. So if it is cheap, just make sure it works.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:42 AM
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I used to only take machines if I thought I could make them work, and then I was pretty picky, meaning I wanted it to look okay and not be missing hard to replace parts. Now I'll take just about anything, but I won't pay retail (I did maybe twice and wish I hadn't) and if I think I can fix it up and sell it I will, otherwise it becomes a parts source.
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Old 09-28-2021, 09:46 AM
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As I am living in an apt., I am not collecting any machines. I have a new one and an older backup. I was very tempted when I saw a very early, simple machine at a yard sale but I didn't even know if it would fit in the car (it was in a table.)
When I say, simple, I mean one that looked like this. If it had been portable I would have grabbed it.
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:08 PM
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ptquilts, That was a a wilcox and gibbs chain stitcher. The underside of the stitch is even prettier than the top.
.
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Old 10-06-2021, 06:25 AM
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My main criteria is that it has to be unique - not something identical or very similar to what I already have in my collection. And then it has to be in decent physical condition. I don't care if it runs or not, and unless it's really rare, don't need to worry about needles, bobbins or cases. Cost is the last thing I consider, though I'll always pick up a FW at a cheap price if I find one as they are really easy to rehome.
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Old 10-08-2021, 05:27 PM
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I just bought another 401a at an estate sale. Table and machine was $35. Although very dirty, it works, even with a cam. There is only two feet and some bobbins, but for $35, I couldn't pass it up.

There are gems out there, you just have to look.
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Old 10-09-2021, 06:50 AM
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The most I have paid for a vintage machine was $25.00. It was a treadle and in running order. It needed a bit of sanding and a coat of varnish. It is a beautiful machine and I have had it for a good 25 years now.
When buying one at a garage sale it has to work. I usually pay $5-$10 for one. I have also had a number given to me and they were all in working order. I have no more space for another machine right now. I am always watchful for other machines that I just can't pass up so I can't say I am finished. I just have to make space for another machine then.
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